The Board Chairman of Defence Industries Holding Company Limited (DIHOC), Footwear Division, Dr Karl Laryea, has appealed to the government to revive the policy of ‘Achimota School Sandals’ which was initiated in 2014 as part of efforts to empower the Kumasi Shoe Factory to supply sandals to all schools.
This, he said, would enable the company produce affordable school sandals for children, especially in deprived schools, adding that “the company is in a position to triple its production and workforce to boost the local economy.
“With approximately 100,000 state security personnel in the country, demand for more products, employee numbers will shoot from 200 to 800 within five years,” he said.
Dr Laryea said this in Accra yesterday when he briefed the media on the company’s activities.
Established in 1960, the shoe factoryproduced footwear and rubber sheets under an agreement signed by Ghana’s first President, Dr Kwame Nkrumah, and Czechoslovakia in 1961.
Additionally, he called on the government to grant waiver of taxes on imported raw materials for a five year period spanning 2023 to 2028.
This, he said, would reduce the cost of production and decrease the selling price of boots to security services, and make it easy for the company to produce affordable shoes.
Dr Laryea, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of Knights Ghana Limited, said the company was now in the position to produce all category of shoes designed to satisfy the preference and exact taste of the general public.
“Over the years, investment had been made in the acquisition of modern equipment that could be used to produce the same categories of shoes being designed by celebrated designer brands in the world,”
“DIHOC Footwear Division Limited can now produce shoes for corporate events which can be worn to weddings, executive meetings and any other occasions,” Dr Laryea said.
He said the company was in the process of producing large quantities of its new classic shoes to cover the West African sub-region, especially now that the African Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA) was in operation and was headquartered in Ghana.
According to him, efforts were being put in place to penetrate the local market and therefore called on Ghanaians to cut down their dependence on foreign products and patronise made-in-Ghana shoes by the company
He said the Shoe Factory had begun the mass production of fashionable shoes as part of its effort to cut down the local demand for and over dependence on foreign brands on the Ghanaian market.
The shoe factory, which had over the years been producing safety and security boats and shoes for the uniformed security agencies, had now expanded its production to cover the specification, design and taste of the general public, especiallythe fashion industry.
The Kumasi Shoe Factory is a joint venture Company between a Czech Republic-based company, Knights a.s., acting through its subsidiary, Knight Ghana Limited, and the DIHOC, owned by the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF).
BY AGNES OPOKU SARPONG